If you sustain an injury in a vehicle accident caused by an uninsured driver, what happens next?
New York is a no-fault insurance state, but how can you be sure you will receive adequate compensation? What steps should you take after the accident?
Understanding no-fault insurance
If you suffer an injury in a vehicle crash, the no-fault law in New York State requires your insurance company to compensate you no matter who was responsible for the accident. Every vehicle should have no-fault coverage in the minimum amount of $50,000 for every occupant, but some drivers do not carry insurance at all.
Interacting with an uninsured driver
The uninsured driver who hits you may try to offer you cash to avoid having to deal with law enforcement officers and insurance companies. Do not accept the cash offer. In the aftermath of the crash, you have no idea about any injuries you might have or what the repairs to your vehicle will cost. Use the camera in your cellphone to take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, the license plate of the other driver and the area where the crash occurred.
Taking next steps
Even if the other driver objects, call the police and report the accident, and after they arrive and you have talked with them, you will be free to go. Your next step is to see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you might have an underlying injury. Furthermore, a medical report along with the police report and the photos you took will be essential when you file a claim for insurance compensation.
Expecting fair compensation
If the negligent driver responsible for the accident has no insurance, remember that you have coverage under your own insurance carrier as long as you have the type of uninsured motorist policy the state requires. Keep in mind that your insurer may try to lowball a settlement amount, but under the no-fault law, you have a right to expect the maximum compensation to which the law entitles you.